Organizers of the first-ever Altona Gospel Festival are blown away with the support that rolled in for the event that was held Saturday, August 19th. 

At its highest, Larry Wiebe says he counted about 600 people gathered around the main stage in Centennial Park.

"We were so blessed by God with the weather. We were so blessed with attendance. We were so blessed with the performers," he said. " You know, watching a mom and dad and children play music together, play gospel music together is so heartwarming. And the final song by the Quonset Brothers, for those of you that were there, I'm sure you would agree with me - it brought chills, goosebumps to the arms. It was unbelievable performance, unbelievable worship. We are just so fortunate. We are so blessed and, thank you for the attenders."

Aat the heart of the Altona Gospel Festival was fundraising, specifically for Altona YFC. At the end of the day when the final tally was in, over $8,400 was raised for the local organization.

"So, this includes their sales of their sausage burgers, hot dogs, drinks and chips and whatever else they sold," explained Wiebe, noting the total also included cheques made out directly to the organization and the donations that were collected during the offering. "[...] again we can do nothing but praise God for that. Thank you so much."

The crowd ranged from 300 to 600 August 19th at Altona ParkThe crowd ranged from 300 to 600 August 19th at Altona Park. Photo courtesy Curt Toews and submitted by Larry Wiebe.

Wiebe also thanks the many sponsors that stepped forward to support the event.

"I went around to multiple businesses and individuals as well. And there the response was wonderful, more than I expected again," he said. "These guys get hit daily with requests for money and it needs to be something that hits the heart, and we think we did that."

As for whether there will be a 2nd annual Altona Gospel Festival, Wiebe says the discussion has begun. But for now, he noted, "We want to look at things and relax and celebrate and give God the praise."

With files from Chris Sumner

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